Mother's Illness

Mother’s last illness was a never-to-be-forgotten experience for this daughter who adored her. She had been plagued with headaches for as long as I can remember. They grew more frequent and severe hen I was nine to eleven years old. I remember specifically one Saturday afternoon. Daddy had gone to “town” (Loraine) for supplies. Mother was in bed with one of her headaches. I went into her room and found her hallucinating (we called it ‘talking out of her head’). I was so scared. Daddy came home shortly. I don’t remember the events chronologically but do remember the months that she spent in the hospital in Temple and Colorado City, Texas. This was a period of mid-summer 1932 to November 1933, when she died in Colorado City. For about eight months she was in a coma. I remember Daddy sending Western Union telegrams almost every day to Grandmother and Grandaddy Garret with news of her condition. I spent those months hither and yon – with grandparents in the summer months and with neighbors during the school year. This was before blood banks were available. Daddy gave fourteen transfusions to Mother. Daddy’s health suffered during this dark period. In October, 1933 Mother came out of the coma and was returned home. I remember so clearly sitting by her bedside talking and talking. It was like someone had come home from a long journey. She was full of questions about the details of my life while she had been away. She told me of her experiences while she had been “away”. She remembers seeing some indescribably beautiful scenes and hearing lovely music. I am convinced that she was describing a time during her coma when she had been very close to heaven. For about two weeks she was lucid and we were so hopeful. Then she lapsed back into unconsciousness. She was taken to the Colorado City Hospital. Daddy rented a room in a private residence across the hospital for us. The neighbors took care of Daddy’s farming during these months – in the true pioneer “barn-raising” spirit. Daddy spent most of his time in the hospital with Mother, especially during that last two or three-week period. I came and went. To this day the sound of train whistles make me feel sad – from those nights in that room when I would hear the trains going through town. The doctors said that her life was prolonged by her “will to live” – she so wanted to raise her child. But this was not to be.

(August 2, 1931) This is the last picture we have of mother before her final illness.
Left to right: Maola, Grandaddy and Grandmother Garrett, Mother and I, Aunt Gradys, Uncle Merlin, and Harold.